Types of Writers – Strengths and Weaknesses of the Distracted Writer

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Strengths – The distracted writer is always, always, always thinking of new story ideas. He or she sees the entire world as a source for inspiration, and never lacks for ideas in a project. Unlike writers with more of a control freak tendency, distracted writers don’t feel an overwhelming need to plan out every detail of a plot. Instead, they free-write to explore characters’ chemistry and see where the plot leads them, often contributing to original and quite imaginative work.

Weaknesses – The barrage of new ideas constantly occurring to the distracted writer contributes to a certain level of ADD when it comes to writing. The distracted writer is likely to grow bored with one project and start another before the first is well underway. Also, distracted writers may be prone to early writer’s block due to the lack of planning on their projects.

Tips for management – Leverage your inner distracted writer! Keep a notebook with you when you are out and about (or download an app to record story ideas – what do the kids do these days?!) Capture all your ideas as they come by jotting down a quick note each time a new one occurs to you. Then let it go for another time. Spend sincere effort getting “in the zone” for the project you are working on. Watch movies with similar themes to get excited about the project, do some free writing to get to know the characters, then write a brief outline of what you want to happen in the novel. This may feel unnatural, but remember: you wrote the outline – you can always change it later if the wind takes you another direction, which it probably will. Just make sure you always keep a one page outline at least for your novel so you can map out how each scene contributes to an overall arc.

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